by ASILA JALIL/ pic from TWITTER
The Malaysian Health Coalition called for no arrests to be made for the doctors who proceed with the walkout on the Hartal Doktor Kontrak’s strike today.
In a statement today the group said although it takes no official position on the walk out, it supports the contract doctors’ objectives which mainly include comprehensive long term solutions for the country’s human resources for health, fair employment terms for the officers and sufficient doctors, dentists and pharmacists in the country to run the healthcare system.
“We support all constitutional, legal and human rights of our health professionals. The decision to walk-out is a personal one, and must be balanced with duties of patient care, the needs of colleagues and relevant laws.
“We trust our health professionals to make choices that balance their rights and duties,” it said.
It also called for all health professionals to unite to ensure that none of the patients’ care are jeopardised throughout the period.
“We urge the government to treat all doctors with fairness and compassion. No doctors should be arrested for a non-violent walkout,” it added.
It was learned that there were police presence in several main hospitals such as the Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) where the authorities urged the group to disperse.
Medical officers who are under contract terms have planned a day-long walkout today at their respective hospitals as a sign of protest for the contract which they claimed is hindering their career growth.
All doctors clad in black started to walk out of their respective hospitals nationwide at 11am, holding placards stated Hartal Doktor Kontrak.
The Malaysian Reserve reported that up to 5,000 doctors are set to join the contract doctors’ strike set tomorrow as the government’s response on the issue is deemed unsatisfactory.
Among the hospitals that will be involved are Sungai Buloh Hospital, and Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Selangor, Tuanku Fauziah Hospital in Perlis and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Sabah.
On Friday, the Cabinet has agreed to offer a two-year service extension to contract doctors upon completion of their compulsory term.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this was a short-term solution to the recent issues raised by the group on their employment status.